AS GUEST SPEAKER at Intel’s Developer Forum, Steve Wozniak took the stage today for a last day interview with Tech Nation journalist Moira Gunn to talk about his life, love for computers, engineering and all things Segway.
"I was doing really advanced computer designs when I was 10," boasted the Woz, architect of both the Apple I and more successful Apple II, adding "I just loved computers and what they were and ones and zeros and the logic and how they added." Unsurprisingly, this did few wonders for his teen social life. You could say, he Woz rather shy.
Wozniak, who had left college prematurely to take up a job at HP designing handheld calculators, claimed he had done most of his Apple work in his free time. Also, being a loyal HP employee, Wozniak noted he had offered his designs to the company on at least five separate occasions "but they were never interested."
"We had dreams that computers would improve education and improve communication and help us achieve a lot of tasks," noted the Woz idealistically as he went on to explain how a lack of cash pushed the early Apple team forward by relying on their creativity. "Sometimes when you're short of resources it forces you to do better work," he said, adding "I couldn't afford an online timeshare computer system. I had to write down ones and zeros (and simulate the computer's operations). It was all done by hand."
Apple’s number one employee revealed that he never took freebies from his former company, but did occasionally cash in on his employee discount. As the crowd giggled, Woz explained "Sometimes I go into an Apple store and say 'I'm an employee, I get a discount.' They say, 'What's your number?'."
An avid Segway fan, Wozniak admitted he had several of the machines and could even compete in Segway Polo on a national level. But Wozniak also admitted that he found it difficult to drag himself away from the world wide web, noting "The internet takes all your time if you let it."
Asked what he thought to be the greatest advancements in computing, Wozniak replied that he believed processors in the field of graphics were the most impressive, and answered --"What we can do with photography and movies."
Then, shamelessly plugging his hosts before giving the stage up to Intel's chief technology officer, Justin Rattner, Wozniak cheesily enthused that “the low on power design of Intel chips fit with the vision of apple laptops”. Woz he like, eh? µ
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